Seismic sensitivity to sub-surface solar activity from 18 years of GOLF/SoHO observations

26 Feb 2015  ·  Salabert D., Garcia R. A., Turck-Chieze S. ·

Solar activity has significantly changed over the last two Schwabe cycles. After a long and deep minimum at the end of Cycle 23, the weaker activity of Cycle 24 contrasts with the previous cycles... In this work, the response of the solar acoustic oscillations to solar activity is used in order to provide insights on the structural and magnetic changes in the sub-surface layers of the Sun during this on-going unusual period of low activity. We analyze 18 years of continuous observations of the solar acoustic oscillations collected by the Sun-as-a-star GOLF instrument onboard the SoHO spacecraft. From the fitted mode frequencies, the temporal variability of the frequency shifts of the radial, dipolar, and quadrupolar modes are studied for different frequency ranges which are sensitive to different layers in the solar sub-surface interior. The low-frequency modes show nearly unchanged frequency shifts between Cycles 23 and 24, with a time evolving signature of the quasi-biennial oscillation, which is particularly visible for the quadrupole component revealing the presence of a complex magnetic structure. The modes at higher frequencies show frequency shifts 30% smaller during Cycle~24, which is in agreement with the decrease observed in the surface activity between Cycles 23 and 24. The analysis of 18 years of GOLF oscillations indicates that the structural and magnetic changes responsible for the frequency shifts remained comparable between Cycle 23 and Cycle 24 in the deeper sub-surface layers below 1400 km as revealed by the low-frequency modes. The frequency shifts of the higher-frequency modes, sensitive to shallower regions, show that Cycle 24 is magnetically weaker in the upper layers of Sun. read more

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics